General Motors will begin laying off 4,200 salaried workers Monday as part of its scramble to save billions of dollars in annual costs, The Detroit News reported.
GM announced in November that it was cutting a total of 15 percent of its salaried workers, including 25 percent of company executives. It’s also planning to shut down four manufacturing plants in the US and one in Canada with more than 6,000 hourly workers.
GM has complained that President Donald Trump’s trade war has cost the company $1 billion in extra tariffs on imported aluminum and steel. The company hopes the workforce cuts will save it $6 billion a year by the end of 2020.
A GM statement to CNN said the current cuts are part of the reductions announced last year. As for the rest, “we are not confirming the specific timing for when those reductions will occur,” the statement added.
The GM cuts — along with reductions Ford and Fiat Chrysler — come in the wake of a massive corporate tax cut from 35 percent to 21 percent implemented in 2017 by the Trump administration. The president pitched his tax plan as an incentive for corporations to expand their business and thereby share their tax-savings windfalls with workers. But a study released last month found that the huge cuts had no significant impact in companies’ capital investment in their business operations — or in hiring.
When GM announced cuts last year, Trump said he was “disappointed.” Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) blasted the move at the time as “corporate greed at its worst.”
Trump is expected to tout his administration’s boost to American manufacturing in his State of the Union Address next week.
Friday’s report that 304,000 jobs were created in the U.S. last month was better than expected. The unemployment rate rose to 4 percent from 3.9 percent the previous month. The Trump administration’s trade wars and the health of the global economy continue to trigger fears about the nation’s economic future.